Confederate Yankee: A Challenge to Dave.
Here is my reply:
I accept your challange, and I deeply respect your service to the country.
I suspect you don’t ready my blog. I agree about the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalists, not only to us but to the people currently living under their rule. You’re talking to the guy who wrote yesterday about the “just leave” argument,
“Suppose full-scale civil war breaks out with hundreds of thousands killed. Suppose the Shiites wipe out the Sunnis with millions dead. Suppose Iran winds up in control of central Iraq and the southern oil fields and launches full-scale war against a weakened U.S. Suppose the Kurds break out for independence and Turkey invades? None of us know if these terrible things will happen or not. All of us understand these are possible, even likely.”
In the past I have written,
Aside from all the consequences for Iraqis there will be long-term ongoing consequences here. I’m talking about serious national security concerns. While we had no reason to invade Iraq in the first place WE HAVE CREATED THE THREAT. Saying “we are less safe now” is not a political slogan. WE ARE LESS SAFE NOW. If we leave, we are leaving behind an Afghanistan, with a Taliban, infrastrucutre destroyed (by us) but with all the resources of an oil-rich nation-state, and not very concerned that we will be coming back any time soon.
That said, let me explain where I disagree. On torture, you wrote, “I am sure you can reason that comments comparing our soldiers’ actions to those of Stalin’s henchmen in the gulags or the Nazi’s SS troops in the concentration camps would give our enemy comfort.” First, if you really meant to say it is “our soldier’s actions” then it is YOU who is “blaming the troops” for what is obviously a policy coming down from the top. When Sen. Durbin said what he said, he was criticizing BUSH. Republican slicksters skillfully make it sound like he was saying something about the troops. But look at who is really doing the blaming – by refusing to take responsibility and prosecuting only a few at the bottom instead of those who set the policy. You do know, don’t you, that the ONLY bill Bush has ever said he would veto is the one prohibiting torture?
And I say that the policy of torture coming from our country’s leadership is what has given our enemies a tremendous propaganda advantage. (Not the military leadership but the political leadership – in spite of the comments about me here I have always made that clear.) Citizens MUST speak out and fight the leadership when we see them taking the country in such a direction. It is not treason, as Republican Party slicksters say, it is our DUTY. The fight to stop torture does not give our enemies comfort – the policy of torture itself is what gives them the propaganda advantage.
You write, “the war against radical Islamic terrorist is extremely vital to the free world.” I agree, and that is the BASIS of my objection to the Iraq invasion. BEFORE the invasion Iraq had NOTHING TO DO with 9/11 or al Queda. Iraq was a secular country, NOT an Islamic state. But, as you acknowledge in your challenge, NOW their new constitution MAKES them an Islamic state under Islamic law. NOW the country is a recruiting bonanza for terrorists. NOW the country has growing ties to Iran, including a military cooperation agreement. NOW the population is radicalized and turning against us. Not before the invasion, but NOW. THAT is what we accomplished! We CREATED a threat to our security where none existed. And it is looking more an more like our leadership was tricked into this by Iranian agents — and you accuse ME of treason!
And the Iraq invasion TOOK RESOURCES AWAY from fighting terrorism, and created a much worse situation. And now we have that worse situation, with a depleted military, isolation from countries that would have been allies in the fight, and we’re stuck there in a no-win situation because we have created a potential terrorist state and we can’t afford to walk away from that. Invading Iraq may be the worst istake our country has ever made. Meanwhile Afghanistan is hardly being established as a free nation – it is ruled by the drug lords we used to be against, recruited to fight for us because we wanted our own resources free to join Bush’s Iraq adventure.
WP – Don’t you understand the propaganda advantage they gained because our forces used WP for “shake and bake?” Just as with torture, it isn’t the revealing it’s the doing. I don’t CARE if it is a “chemical” weapon or not, that is hardly the point. They should not have started the policy of torture, and they should not have allowed the use of WP as a weapon. Because of the huge propaganda advantage this gives the enemy. It is NOT the revealing, it is the USE. It is our DUTY to speak out against the use. And it is NOT the troops, it’s the leadership that failed us.